Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Villanova football, fumbles, and bad luck


Almost all of Villanova's turnovers this season have come from fumbles, losing six of them in two games. Forcing fumbles is a skill, and there are also players who are more prone to fumble than some others, but after the ball hits the turf, there is a certain degree of luck involved in how many turnovers there are. This is perfectly illustrated by the fact that the ratio of total fumbles to fumbles lost variates from year to year, and some teams simply have bad luck in the area.

How do I know that it is a matter of luck? Well, I don't, but what I do know is that Villanova has already lost the same number of fumbles as they lost all of last season despite fumbling five fewer times. Villanova has fumbled seven times this season and lost six of them. That is a huge, and frankly, unsustainable rate. I expect that fumbling will remain a problem for this team, and I think they will do it at a greater volume than most other teams, but I think that the ratio will be closer to 50/50 for the rest of the season. Why do I know this? Because that's what it's been like in the past three seasons, even in 2011, when Villanova was exceptionally bad.

Villanova fumbles (lost) by season

2011: 20 (11)
2012: 12 (6)
2013: 7 (6)
Luck, it's a thing. Fix the fumbling problem though, seven times in two games isn't fun.

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